Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Life Blood

7:00 p.m. Wednesday. Edna and I are at our usual spot, the Starlight Lounge, having our usual cocktail.  We’ve each ordered a Zombie.  A most appropriate inside joke.

We are dressed in slightly different variations of the same outfit.  Long-sleeved silk crepe dresses and close-fitting hats adorned with fake flowers and grosgrain ribbon.  Gloves, thick stockings and patent leather T-strap heels.  Heavily applied foundation.  Lots of rouge-and raspberry lipstick.  A little too garish of a shade if you ask me.

It’s the end of October, yet nearly as stiflingly hot as August, and in our layers of clothing we are uncomfortable.  Having  sought the refuge of a darkly shadowed back corner booth, we bemoan, between sips of rum and citrus, the absence of an autumn that is cold and crisp, and we worry, in this heat, how much longer we can keep up our charade. 

Nearly a year has gone by since Edna and I met and started having drinks at the Starlight.  Funny, not meeting each other before-living as we did in such a small town.  In any case, last December we found ourselves laid out on side-by-side porcelain slabs, wearing our Sunday best and miraculously revived, owing to having been pumped full of straight gin instead of the usual preservatives.  (It would seem that the undertaker had an aberrant sense of humor, or perhaps he was simply celebrating the end of Prohibition a little too liberally.)

I notice, as I reach for my mint-garnished glass, the tiniest smudge of powdery green mold on the sliver of mottled skin peeking out between the soiled edges of my right sleeve and my glove, and I don’t know which I find more distressing.  That my clothes are starting to look shabby-or that I am. 

Taking a last hard swallow of my Zombie, and feeling rather drained myself, I mumble to Edna that we’d better order another round.

Just to be safe.

 

 

http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/2013/10/trifecta-week-ninety-eight.html

Historical note: I had to fudge the facts a bit for this one.  While Prohibition ended in 1933, the Zombie wasn’t concocted until the late 30’s.  (But I love fudge, so it’s ok!) 

31 comments:

  1. Oh you had me right to near the end this is a great one. I was wondering what the inside joke between Edna and her was. Halloween is coming. Zombies and Gin who knew. Good one. Hug B

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  2. Oh cute! Another round just to be safe. Nicely done, Valerie. I enjoyed this.

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  3. Oh... spooky. Nice. Well-written.
    -HA

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  4. Valerie!! Fantastic! You had me going in the different direction, and then I read 'porcelain slab' and thought... "Wha-huh?"

    Totally delightful, not overdone. Subtle humour of the best kind. :)))

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    1. Jo-Ann, I'm always thrilled with your take on my take;)

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  5. Loved it. The secret is in the alcohol. I always knew it had a preserving effect. I should live forever.

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    1. You and me both;) Thanks for your wonderful comment!

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    1. This is LOL funny, Valerie--and just delightful in the most macabre way! (I deleted the first because I had to correct a wrongly-used word.)

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    2. I do that all the time, my friend;) Dawn, you always make me so happy with your comments!

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  7. Oooh, this is a good one! I love the turn it took towards the end. The "zombie" drinks made me laugh :)

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    1. Thanks Tammy! I tried not to give too much away, too soon;) I'm always so happy to have you read what I come up with:)

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  8. I loved this. Although if all it takes is a gin injection, I too should be a zombie!

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    1. Jennifer-glad we could both very well be zombies;)

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  9. This was FUN! I like it when your sense of humor plays with words. I loved this line: "That my clothes are starting to look shabby-or that I am." LOL that's priceless:~) This is clever take on the prompt and love that you used the "gin" injection, which made the story so much more fun.

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  10. A thoroughly enjoyable read! :-D

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  11. What did you do wrong? You don't want it like this? email me details.

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  12. You could be time travelling zombies. Great use of the prompt. (RogRites)

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  13. So funny, Valerie! And yet I seem to be taking it as a warning metaphor... So sad, Valerie!
    Hahaha. Death becomes them!

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  14. keeping their zombie selves going with gin, I love it :)

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  15. This is fabulous. I can see these proper, albeit undead, ladies trying to keep up appearances. Love the voice of this and the last line is simply perfect. Such a fun read!

    Well done, my friend. :)

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  16. This explains a lot. :-) I loved your take on the zombie and your incorporation of the drink into the season. Your subtle humor hits this one out of the park. Thanks for linking up.

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  17. Zombies... make mine a double! This was very clever.

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  18. This short piece stands so well on its own. One of our contributing editors brought it to my attention. I also like: http://thewordpirate.blogspot.com/2013/10/life-blood.html
    We'd love to use both if we can make them both fit in upcoming issue of The Woven Tale Press. You can see recent issues here: http://woventalepress.com
    Hope your'e interested, would love to have you on board. You can email me at editor@thewoventalepress.com referencing these URls.
    Sandra Tyler

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